Knitting for a cause...

I've always "planned" on doing this...I've been meaning to join the Red Sweaters project, but it's hard to find Red Heart yarn in the city.  The helmet liners look like a good project and appeal to me as a veteran.  I like the idea of knitting for a cause, filling a need, and I've actually done it sort of by accident.

I recently finished a Baby Bobbi Bear that I knitted just because I liked the pattern (it's from Blue Sky Alpacas and it's great fun to knit and ever so cute).  I didn't knit it with a recipient in mind.  Well, AIDS Walk San Francisco is fast approaching and I'm raising money ($3000 if I meet my goal), so I'm constantly trying to think of fundraising ideas.  That's where the bear comes in.  I took it work, set it up next to my desk with a "Silent Auction" sign and gave folks a week to submit bids.  The auction ended this morning and the bear sold for $104, all of which will be donated to AIDS Walk San Francisco!  Here's the key lesson learned:  Make sure people know that YOU did the knitting!  Once I added that important bit of information, people were much more willing to bid.

Third scarf & a question for experienced knitters

I'm now working on my third scarf. I've been getting smaller with my needles and yarn, but I think I may have bit off more than I can chew, at least comfortably. While I'm waiting to go to Oregon and buy the black yarn for my military friend (I'm thinking hemp... comments?), I'm doing a 100% alpaca yarn, sport weight, using size 5 needles & doing a "pill stitch," k1p1. This is a challenge! But I'm enjoying it. Right now, I'm about three or four rows in, and it looks gorgeous.

I do have a stupid question for people, tho. As I knit, the yarn coming off the skein gets twisted. Is this normal, and is it okay if I spin the scarf to untangle that yarn? Also, should I be concerned with the frayed appearance of the yarn? It's not nice & smooth. (Of course this is alpaca, so I think I just answered that last question.)

Making it happen

Well, I think I already have one person convinced to start making scarves for the troops overseas. Strangely, one of my daughter's TaeKwonDo instructors knits... He just started knitting, says he's on his 8th scarf so far. I told him if he wants to make one or two for the troops & get it to me, I'll send it out. This hits even closer to home as on the front page of the Wisconsin State Journal is an article saying another 1020 Wisconsin National Guard troops are being deployed. That's more Wisconsin NG soldiers on active duty than there has been since Kennedy was in office. It's getting to be such that everyone knows someone who's either been deployed or who has friends & family serving in Iraq or Afghanistan.

For the troops

Well, a couple of days ago I learned that my best friend is being deployed to Iraq. He's in the Army Reserve, meaning he's got crappy equipment. So, I've been looking for ways to send him something, and I've found several patterns & requests for helmet liners. If any of you have ever worn a Kevlar helmet, you know they can get a little drafty underneath. Riding in the back of a truck wearing one, and it can get pretty cold. Plus, there's no protection from your face. Plus, having been in Iraq myself, I know how cold it can get at night. So, I downloaded a pattern. While I am not at the level where I could do it myself, I hope maybe by posting this I can get some folks on here to chip in the way our parents & grandparents did in WW2, knitting sweaters, socks, scarves, and hats for the soldiers overseas.

First blog attempt

Well, here goes. Where should I begin? Okay. I started knitting a couple of weeks ago, motivated by an article in one of our local papers, the Wisconsin State Journal. The article looked at men who knitted, something I had wanted to learn since childhood but never did (men don't knit, unless they're, well...). I'm not, well... so I never picked it up. No, I'm not homophobic, anti-gay, or whatever. I was just sensitive to people's perceptions of me and since I am short & overweight, not athletic, etc., what little I could do (or not do) to keep me "manly" in the eyes of my peers, I did.

Valuable lesson learned

Today is a day to feel good about myself. The way we all feel when we weave in that last tail of the last stich of a project. In this case it was my mother's socks, originally intended to be given to her for Mothers Day, but things happend.

I always try to keep two projects going in knitting at one time. A big one and a little one like socks, but I am now at the odd point. I have nothing to knit.

Today I asked my wife if there was anything she wanted me to work on for her. Something she may like for the summer before I start up on all the winter sweaters again. I sat her down in fron of the PC and flipped open a few bookmarks of nice patterns in my browser and stopped at the top one... Knitty...

Oh my god, I get a blog?

Greetings from South Miami, not South Beach.

Please bear with me as this is my first foray into blogging.  I've heard about these things but never thought I'd actually be doing one.  First, a little of an introduction.   I'm Bob, originally from the Philadelphia area.  I lived in Jersey City for 11 years before moving to Florida in 1998.  I'm just shy of 40 years old but I'm told I look much younger.  I started knitting in December, 2003.  I had originally planned to re-relearn crochet but the knitting store never had enough interest in the class.  I still have the washcloth that was my first ever project.  It makes a great coaster on the computer station.  Since then, I have completed 3 other washcloths(2 knit, 1 crochet), 2 scarves, a pair of baby booties and 2 pairs of kids socks.  The socks ended up in an orphanage in Russia that my knit shop supports.  The rest were gifts.   What I'm working on now is:

My first Pattern... a HAT!

After getting the hang of knitting in the round and doing simple decreases, I thought I'd experiment with making my own hat pattern.

I saw the basket weave/checkerboard pattern on a scarf at Article Pract and decided to adapt it to a hat.

Hope the directions make sense... feel free to email me for clarification.

Cast on an even multiple of 10 sts (eg. 80) on a set of round needles.

Start knitting in the round with a 2 x 2 rib (K2, P2, repeat).

Once you have about 2" of rib, work one round of knits.


R1: * K5, P5. Repeat from * till end of row. Make sure you mark the beginning of the row with a stitch marker.